Novartis (NYSE:NVS) just announced that it is teaming up with Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) for bringing Google's smart contact lenses to the healthcare market. Earlier this year, Google unveiled its smart contact lenses for monitoring glucose levels in tears, which the medical community considered a huge opportunity to treat diabetes and various intraocular conditions. Novartis' eye care division Alcon has entered into an agreement with Google[x], a Google team that focuses on finding new solutions to big global problems, so that Alcon can properly utilize the opportunity to develop and commercialize smart contact lenses using Google's "smart lens" technology. The technology could enhance Alcon's eye care pipeline and strengthen its global leadership position in contact lenses and intraocular lenses.
Although the size of the deal hasn't been disclosed, Novartis said that Google's technology will focus on two areas:
- Helping diabetic patients manage their disease by allowing them to monitor glucose level using tear fluid
- Correcting vision in people with presbyopia who can no longer read without glasses
In our original article, we said that Google's contact lenses would not be commercially available until 2019, since further research is needed to make Google's "smart lens" technology commercially viable. However, with healthcare major Novartis arriving in the scene, we think that the smart lenses would be commercially available sooner than expected.
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